1. a person who habitually doubts the authenticity of accepted beliefs
The term skeptic originally referred to a philosophy of challenging the status quo, of thinking beyond the commonly held beliefs of the majority. Today, however the vast majority of individuals claiming to be skeptics are anything but. When we speak today of skeptics, we are generally referring to individuals who espouse a dogmatic adherence to the belief system of rational materialism or scientific reductionism.
In truth, the so called skeptics are generally nothing more than dogmatic zealots of their own faith system. This faith system has a very simple creed, which an be summed up as “There is nothing in this universe but that which science has proven. There is no God, no ghosts, no aliens, no psychic effects or afterlife. Nothing that is outside of modern scientific thought has any validity. Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.”
Real skeptics are agnostics with regard to anything that has not been proven. Self described skeptics tend to be dogmatic and closed minded, the exact opposite of the traditional meaning of the term. They are skeptical only of claims or evidence that support one of the phenomenon which the so called skeptical faith system rejects. Very often, skeptics sound more like Agent Kay from Men in Black explaining a massive UFO sighting with “All right, Beatrice, there was no alien. The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.” Any explanation will do, so long as it doesn’t involve any “woo” (as the skeptics call anything outside of rational materialistic experience).